Posts Tagged ‘Kirsten Thorne’

Mission SJC Ruins With PHW

One would think that the longer you investigate paranormal phenomena and the world of spirit, the less afraid you would feel. One might even think that it would be business as usual, occasionally boring, but certainly nothing to fear anymore. One would be wrong.

Boredom is only a factor when you’re not paying serious attention to what’s going on around you, either because your devices are all-consuming or there are too many (human) distractions. If you are truly tuned in to the worlds you can’t see, then your fear can escalate over time. It can become, sometimes, overwhelming. I should say here that I am representing my own feelings–Kirsten’s–and not necessarily how Erin, Jennifer or Marsha feel. Maybe they would have a different opinion about this.

For me, the recent news of two investigators’ violent deaths comes as a warning and a wake-up call. I cannot say for sure whether or not their investigations had any effect on their emotions, behavior or the tragedy that ensued; but if they were anything like me and others I know in the paranormal field, those investigations certainly impacted them on many levels. Investigators routinely live in more than one world, and we have little idea who we are reaching on the “other side” from us; we can hope that those voices are human and kind, but we are often wrong. Just as we run into many unsavory characters in the material world, I imagine that there are just as many souls that are lost and corrupted who take the time to communicate with you. In fact, I often wonder if the impure of heart and the hopelessly lost form the majority of the spirits that answer our inquiries.

Otherwise, I doubt that they would have time for us. Anyone imprinting his voice on my audio or using my mind and emotions to communicate with me is probably in some sort of spiritual trouble. I leave out of this equation family members who desire to reach out to loved ones with the intention of relieving their worry or grief. For everyone else, there are probably darker motivations for communication. When I enter a building with a solid, haunted reputation, it takes me less than a minute to pick up the emotional content of the place. That has come with years and years of experience. That immediate impact affects me more deeply now than it did five or ten years ago. Now, when I walk into a troubled building, I almost lose my breath. It hurts.

One thing I noticed about agreeing to home investigations where the activity was strange or upsetting: afterwards, I would feel drained, with the characteristic headache at the base of my neck. That headache usually extended into the next day and sometimes into the next week. I would feel ‘off,’ slightly out of control of my emotions and exhausted to the point of feeling physically ill. Many paranormal investigators don’t have great boundaries, a characteristic that makes them effective at picking up spirit activity; however, it also leaves you vulnerable to the emotions and intentions of some very troubled and angry people. I also noticed that listening for EVP for hours on end can damage your well-being in many, subtle ways. Paranormal activity would spike all around me while I listened to my audio because I was connecting myself to another reality. That reality is one that none of us understand well.

Investigators often fight intensely over ethics, good practices, techniques, how to publish results of investigations and where investigations are conducted. What we don’t talk about enough is how what we do affects our emotional and spiritual life. In some cases, it seems to be all for the good; in others, it leads to tremendous pain, conflict and loss. Most paranormal groups fade out in about three years or so. The ones that don’t are careful, very careful, about where they investigate and with whom. They have particular, individual practices for self protection. They also know when it’s time to take a break from that world and focus on something else: our families, our lives in the here and now, our friends.

The PHW have learned when to take a step back and when to jump in with both feet. Right now, it seems the paranormal community needs to love, respect and take care of one another more than anything else. We have all proven to ourselves that, in addition to the great joys, there are great dangers in the spirit world. Let’s remember to protect ourselves and each other. If we don’t, then more of us will be lost to that world we only see through a glass, darkly.

–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD


If you were a house, could you feel pain?


Jennifer Storey had a proposal. She knew of an abandoned property with a dark history. There was, however, a twist to the usual rules: someone close to her knew the real story, but didn’t want to give us any information beforehand. The idea was to test our intuitive, sensitive sides and see just how accurate we might be left to our own devices. Might we be interested in such an investigation? Of course! We set the date, met up with the Source, and headed over to the gutted home to see what we might pick up.

We all walked straight to the same room: the old master bedroom, completely open to the elements now. The focus was square on the area by the closet and the bathroom. We all started writing down the first, few impressions that came to mind. After we had spent some time noting our hypotheses, we compared what we had written: all three of us came up with “older male” as the decedent. We also all had references to “gunshot wound,” with Marsha noting “substance abuse”. Also, all three of us had a strong feeling that this was a suicide. So far, the correspondence was quite impressive. But were we right?

The ghost radar had come up with “German”, “send”, “war”, “Greek”, “top volume” and “age.” In short, nothing that made much sense. I was hanging out on the banister, avoiding the inside of the house. Marsha and Jennifer were inside, running audio, but I felt as if some invisible barrier lay between the master bedroom and me. I felt, for the first time in a long time, genuine fear. There was no good reason for that; the house was so torn up that one would think little would be left for a spirit to attach to, but that’s probably a faulty assumption. Something was clearly creating heavy, negative energy in the interior of the structure, especially in the hallway and garage, a place I couldn’t even look at, much less walk into.

During the investigation, I found it fascinating that we had identified so quickly the “heavy” areas, namely, the closet and the bathroom in the master bedroom and the hallway, but most especially the garage. My impression was of some moving force running through the house, confused, panicked; as I noted on my audio (so I could have a record of my impressions before we heard the facts in this case), I envisioned someone running through the house almost in circles, frantic. I surmised that this person had discovered the body in the back bedroom or bathroom. Marsha mentions in one of the EVP below that she felt the presence of an “older man” and a “young man” in the house, (she told me that she had no sense that they were related) and after she states that, there is a noise down the hallway. Interestingly, Marsha wasn’t picking up on children or a family dynamic in the house; that would be the most obvious choice, given that this house was a 1950s single-family ranch in a suburban area.

Jennifer was experiencing some noteworthy and rather strange emotions: by the closet, she almost cried, but in the living room by the long hallway, she said she felt “a strange excitement” that she had trouble understanding. It wasn’t the typical excitement of investigating, but something of a different quality—almost sexual. This she was picking up as a dynamic in the house, or perhaps she was re-experiencing the emotions that had played out here many times in the past. At this point, I felt nauseous, my head was pounding, and I had to walk outside. My feeling was that something very, very bad had happened in the hallway/bedroom/garage area, and it was still playing itself out.

The investigation did not last long, mostly because I was feeling ill and overwhelmed. The time had come for our source to tell us what she knew about the house and its former occupants. Here are the facts she told us, in addition to what we were able to glean online after the investigation was complete:

  • A death had occurred in November of 2010 on the property, of an older gentleman (64);
  • The house had a reputation for drug abuse and possible drug trafficking;
  • There was a younger man in the house who had discovered the body of the older man, panicked, wrapped him in a blanket and dumped him into the trash. This young man then went to a club (possibly the gay night club down the street) and told various people what had happened, was advised to call the police, which he later did;
  • The coroner does not state the cause of death, but ruled it ‘accidental’;
  • The house was sold to the current owners, who originally were intending a cosmetic remodel but ended up tearing out walls, floors, built-ins and appliances. At least one neighbor thinks that this over-kill was due to the negative feeling in the house, and affirms that the new owners have not come anywhere close to rebuilding it, and that the crew working on the site only comes a couple times a week for a short while.

A more recent occupant of the neighborhood claims that much more is known about the home and the former occupants, but none of the long-term neighbors wishes to discuss it. There are German neighbors who have many more details of this case but choose to remain quiet (this might have had something to do with the GR spitting out “German”). There are many, many unanswered questions here. We do not know what happened to the young man who found the older man’s body and threw him in the trash. We also do not know anything about the relationship between the two of them (beyond the fact that they shared the house). It seems very odd to find your roommate’s body, panic, wrap it in a blanket, throw him into a trash bin, and then go to a nightclub. This made us think that the roommate either had something to do with the older man’s death, was high on drugs, or both.

Even though the death was ruled “accidental,” we have no idea about the nature of the accident. Was he cleaning a gun? Was it a drug overdose? Were the man and his roommate engaging in risky sexual behavior that led to his death? (This is Jennifer’s feeling, and I think she’s on to something). There are still trash bins (large ones) in the garage. If the coroner ruled the death accidental, there is no reason that I can think of that those bins would have been removed. In that case, I can understand why we were so reluctant to enter the garage, and I refused even to look in there. Jennifer’s odd emotion of “strange excitement” works with the “risky sex” theory, and Marsha was spot-on with her impression of substance abuse and the “old man, young man” feeling. I was also correct in my impression of someone running about the house in a panic.

The aftermath of this investigation was both depressing and reassuring. It was depressing because the tragedy of the place rubbed off on me and left me asleep and lethargic the entire next day; reassuring, because the Paranormal Housewives were able to confirm that many of our impressions actually have some factual weight behind them. It was a rare opportunity to test ourselves, and we all felt validated and relieved to know that what we think has happened at a site might have (and in this case, did have) some basis in fact.

However, that reality we picked up on is undeniably tragic and terrible. One person lost his life and another is left with the legacy of that death for the rest of his life. This is the question that remains: is there is anything we can do to ease the chaotic emotions that the house relives and replays as if that death were still happening? If we could bring some peace to that place, then perhaps those spirits—one passed on, the other still wandering the streets—might find some rest (EVP will posted separately, so stay tuned!).

–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD